Posted: 24th March 2010 by Get No Happy in Miscellaneous
Tags: ,

Upon returning from a trip to see “Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” (Which I recommend most heartily), my Brother and I stopped in a local bar. There I had the most brilliant idea. Perhaps one of the greatest brain waves ever to be had in The Footage (Which granted says not a lot): Public Scholars!

Yes. People who’s sole purpose is to be scholarly. A Scholars Guild if you will.

People can apply to be artists, writers, musicians, single-parents on the Government’s shilling, why should the quest for pure knowledge not be amongst these?

Why we need this is clearly apparent:

1) It’s not easy knowing everything
As disciplines move forward, one needs to know so much to be a researcher in the field (and thus attract funding/a living wage) that Enlightenment polymaths are becoming rare indeed. Without cross-discipline insight things may be missed, false paths taken and complimentary avenues mistaken for sink-estates. We need people who will stride across the hate-filled gaps separating Evolutionary Psychology and evolutionary psychology and other intra-discipline rivalries

2) The economics of education
As Dark Lord Mandelson and his New Labour shills move with ever increasing speed to monetize higher education, to only fund areas of (apparent) economic relevance, positions are needed where one can earn a crust by having detailed knowledge of Minoan pottery and the fauna of Mesolithic North America. If all courses must prove a market exists for their graduates, lets make one. Without this, as a country we will no longer discover new things as all graduates will be too busy contemplating how to sell existing findings to China. Or how to make said findings taste blue.

3) Who the Guild will not be
They will not be a committee dress modern politician, a blustering industry representative, a single issue victim-of-the-month or any other archetype that produces a knee-jerk lunge for the remote in households across the country. Individuals who, rightly or wrongly, the public simply do not trust. The Scholars Guild will be the village elders of yore about which we gather, Gandalfs of the factual world; they will be the wise old sage, the custodians of insight and keepers of truths, the Obi-wans sent to separate out the moons from the not-moons.

More importantly they won’t be some smarmy self-righteous celebrity who’s, like, totally, spent a few hours homeless in Baghdad, and who for some reason has their opinion on everything from the fiscal deficit to child abuse courted. The members of my proposed guild will become famous for their scholarship, and therefore will replace celebrities as the fountains of all lower class, red-top, Channel 5 knowledge; supplanting them. The Guild would use celebrities initially to grow in public awareness; like the larvae of a parasitic wasp they will gestate inside such individuals, feed off them to gain strength and then burst forth into the world. The Scholars Guild members will have the positives of the celebrity; a single, recognisable, figurehead which the common man needs to dispense wisdom to them like a father, sooth them like a mother and rule them like a God, and none of the celebrity negatives; a taste for little but self-promotion and, oh, no-fucking-clue-about-anything.

4) Referee
Lastly, said Guild members will act as the voices of reason and referral during items such as Question Time or Newsnight. Their vast and varied knowledge will allow them to temper the more bipolar debates on such things as Global Warming, Violence in Media or the various wars which usually revert to mudslinging, hyperbole and the construction of Titan-esque straw men. Much like a referee during the cricket, they will hold a supreme position of learned neutrality. A Guild member at a debate will be a seal of approval, letting the audience know any biased party will not be able to hoodwink those watching

I believe another solid gold pledge can be added to the “Peoples Consideration Party” manifesto

1) Sadly I do not count myself (yet) as being eligible to join the hallowed ranks of this Guild should it be formed tomorrow. I’m not that arrogant.
2) The criteria for polymath has yet to be finalised
3) They will be paid enough to ensure neutrality (like the early FBI)
4) All Guild member will have to wear sagely robes when on official business and will be coached to speak in an authoritative yet grandfatherly voice